Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Posts That Should Have Been; or; The Ravages of Illness: There But For the Grace of Modern Medicine…

There were supposed to be blog posts in the last week or so.  There were supposed to be posts about amazing victories, and new projects, pages read, and wild dreamy knitting.  They were there, floating around in my head and oh so close to my fingertips.
Then, instead, my throat started tickling and I felt run down.  Shortly after that, my voice got super scratchy.  I began to wonder if I had developed a nocturnal glass eating habit, because it really was the only logical explanation for how crummy my throat was feeling.  Then I lost my voice altogether, and stayed at home for a day and napped.  And then napped some more.  And by the next day I was lulled into a magical dream world, where I was actually getting better instead of worse. I was getting my energy back and I downgraded my throat pain to merely having ingested powdered glass, say as an appetizer, as opposed to a main entrée of giant shards of plate glass misery.
And then it all went back to hell.  Or more accurately, I was invaded by a bacteria from the seventh circle of hell itself.  That obstreperous little bugger had the gall to settle right in and pipe up with “How you doin?” And when I didn’t immediately respond with “get out now”, it decided to take me back to hell with it and make me it’s bride.  That was at about 4 in the morning this past Saturday, when I woke up after not really having slept and realized that the entire right side of my body from the base of my neck to the my eyebrow  was lumpy and swollen.  I became intimately and simultaneously aware of every inch of my gums, my teeth, every sinus, and my inner ear.  I couldn’t see a damn thing because my right eye was swollen shut and I couldn’t turn my head because my shoulder had completely seized.  The only blessing was that I could barely open my mouth, which turned out to be a good thing as it was the only thing keeping my ridiculously swollen tongue in my mouth and not slopping about on my chin like a dog who’s just had a great run in the woods.  All I can say about my neck is I had no idea glands could get that big.  Oh, and I had a fever.  No idea how high it was, but having the cold sweats made the whole thing THAT MUCH BETTER!!!!!!
I started making a mental list of things that I was going to need to have my husband bring me when the doctor I was going to see would no doubt hospitalize me because I very quickly realized that this was the sickest I had ever been in my entire adult life (and I’ve had cholera)!!!!
At this point I have a pro tip for ya’ll. When you are this sick and you get someone to take you to the closest clinic, openly weep in the waiting room.  Literally sob like a child into the chest of the person beside you. If that’s the person who brought you, great!  If not, do it anyway!!  Make a new friend! The overall impact of this behaviour is that the staff get you into a see a doctor really quickly to keep you from upsetting the other waiting patients.  Keep right on sobbing when the doctor walks in and feel marginally vindicated when he looks at you and says “oh you poor thing.  I’m so sorry you had to wait at all”.  Another pro tip:  When your husband asks if you want him to come into the exam room with you, say no, because you’re a grown-ass woman and you don’t need help to go to the doctor.  Say this because it is what you would always say.  Say it even though you can barely speak, and even though you’re not really processing any information right now, like things that people (hypothetically doctors, even) are saying to you.  That way, later, you can look at the bottle of antibiotics and realize that you did, in fact, go to the doctor, and that whole thing wasn’t a multisensory hallucination brought on by sleep deprivation and pain.
The (completely real and in no way a hallucination) doctor really was fantastic and he did manage to convince me that I had neither meningitis or mumps but did confirm that I had strep everything north of the collarbones, and he was pretty sure a wicked sinus infection caused by the strep everything.  We had a very brief discussion about if I was actually going to be able to swallow penicillin or if I would need an IV.  (I’d like to point out that at this point I did not care how I got the drugs.  As long as I got them that was all that mattered.)  I also didn’t find out how high my fever was because all the doctor said was “well, that’s, um, high”.
In the end, I was sent home with my hubby and a rather large amount of penicillin.  (Ed note:  She’s not kidding.  She looked it up.  It’s about the maximum dose for a person of any size, and about the longest a person should stay on it.)  Shortly after that there was also ice cream and Popsicles and a new hot water bottle (to replace the one tragically lost in the great DPN Incident of two thousand fourteen), and Advil.  And by the second round of drugs there was enough of an improvement that I could actually sleep.  And around the third round of drugs we noticed that I had a black eye caused by my sinuses swelling up so badly.  But I was able to sleep, and eat very slowly.
Over that entire 7 days I knit one half heel flap.  That was it.  Now I’m four days into the wonder drug and things are so much better.  My black eye is almost gone, my sinus infection is clearing up, and tonight I was able to open my mouth wide enough to eat without dripping dinner down my chin.  And last night I finished the flap and turned the heel and started the foot of my sock.  And really, is there a better indication that a knitter is on the mend then when she actually starts knitting again?
So, now the plan is to catch up on my work and give a thought to those missing blog posts.  They are still there and they are itching to get out.


A Race Against the Yarn Update

I mentioned earlier this week that I am currently in a race with the yarn that I am using for my SIL’S Christmas socks.  There are only two competitors in this dash to the finish line: me and a the remnants of the a skein of Poppy yellow label from Tanis Fibre arts.  Right now I think we are in a dead tie, still going neck to neck.  The good news is, we have passed the halfway mark.  The first sock is finished and while the leg is a tiny bit shorter than I would otherwise make it, I’m certainly not going to attempt to add any additional length by doing something foolish like frogging back and adding more rows.IMG_2715

This is now the time when the real race begins.  There was never any doubt that I would conquer the first sock.  The question has always been the second.  The accursed second sock.  The sock that can make or break the whole deal.  The sock that will either catapult me to victory or leave me weeping uncontrollably in the corner with nothing but an unfinished sock with which to dry my eyes.  That is the sock that I am starting.  With uncertainty being my only companion in the fray, I am jumping in head first.IMG_2716

Keep your fingers crossed that when I emerge, there I will be a with a big smile and warm toes.



Paper and Fibre February 11, 15



The Fibre

This week’s fibre is a little bit of a risk.  Well maybe it’s not.  It’s almost certainly, maybe,  not a risk.  Here’s the deal.  I’ve started my SIL’S Christmas socks.  The pattern is Lumberjacks.  The pattern is not the risk.  The pattern is awesome.  This is my third pair in as many months.  It’s great.  The colour is fine.  She’ll love red socks.  The yarn is great too, but it’s also the problem.  You see the pattern calls for a huge amount of yardage for each pair of socks.  I’m not sure if it’s a difference in gauge, but according to the pattern I should need just over a skein of the master colour for a pair of men’s socks.  As it turns out I need less than a skein.  I fair bit less than a skein.  So considering that I only used the red for the heels and toes for my hubby’s socks, and the ladies socks have fewer stitches per round and fewer rounds over all, I should need a much smaller amount of yarn than with the men’s socks.  So I should have enough red yarn.  It seems reasonable to think that.  In fact it seems foolish to think anything else.  I’m almost certain this will work.
A yarn scale would make my life easier and happier.  But that would require me to know where my scale is and right now I kind of sort of don’t.  And anyway, it’s way more fun not knowing and having the anxiety spur me on.  It will make me a faster knitter since we all know that if you knit super fast you will in fact avert a pending yarn shortage.  But that’s not going to happen.  I think.IMG_2670-0

The Paper

The-roadThis week I finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy. As the story progresses you realize that it is, at its core, a very complex discussion on humanity and human nature. It asks the question, how do we retain our humanity in the face of insurmountable odds? Why do some people maintain a moral code of conduct that is reflective of current values, and others morph into something abhorrent? Or are do some people adapt while others cling to the past? It’s a fantastic metaphor for heaven and hell. It’s both brutally grim at times and uplifting in its depiction of a father and son’s unwavering love. I’m not certain I can recommend this book, but if you can deal with the writing style and very dark content it is worth the read.

For more great Wednesday stuff check out the Yarn Along at Ginny’s and KCCO at Frontierdreams.

YOP Update February 8th, 2015



This is a very exciting and special update.  This is not because Iced is finished and keeping me cozy warm as I type this.  (Though it is pretty cool).  Here’s a picture of me not wearing it.


It is special because this weekend we went to visit my SIL and my BIL and when I walked in to their house, my SIL didn’t get up to greet me.  Why is that special and not incredibly rude you might ask? It’s because she was crocheting.  She was sitting on the sofa, with a crochet hook in her hand and a project in her lap and she was crocheting.  She was actually doing Tunisian crochet, which she has taught herself THE NIGHT BEFORE WE ARRIVED!!!!  (The project on the left is her first project.  The project on the right is the fancy crochet she started the night before we arrived).IMG_2711-0


If she was a huggy type person, I would have flung myself across the room and grabbed her.  But she’s not and after 16 years of being part of her family I can accept that and find ways to express happiness that doesn’t  make her try to crawl out of her skin and flee the room.  I can do things like ask her about what’s she’s doing and be genuinely interested because 1)  I  am a fibre person and she is working with fibre and 2)  I have no idea what the heck she is actually doing.  It is no secret that I don’t know how to crochet.  I can’t read the patterns (Ed. note:  Seriously:  Since when is a half double not the same as a single?  What is wrong with you people?).  I don’t know how to make the hook move.   I certainly didn’t know that a crochet hook could be the size of your arm and that you could leave stitches on it.  But, my SIL did.  The next day, when we were driving around to various wineries and distilleries, we were sharing a back seat and she had her fibre and I had my fibre and we were both so very happy.

 A little sampling from the wineries and distilleries.




I was knitting a new pair of socks with this.


By the time we left she had this.


Overall, it was very successful.

And now for the list.

Redacted YOP List

1. Icedfinished Feb 2015
2. 64 crayonsFinished Jan 2015
3. Vincent price socks – should be much closer than they are.
4. 10 more squares for Nordic Holiday

Not WIPs:
1. Lumberjack X4 first pair finished Jan 20. Three to go.
2. Baby gift for the April baby
3. Socks X3 – patterns currently unknown

And because a weekend wouldn’t be complete without the dog.




A Rather Strange Decision Indeed

A few day ago I cast on a cowl.  When I started my Rav search I didn’t know that I was going to cast on a cowl.  I just knew that I had some odd balls of yarn that I really want to start using up so I searched patterns in the correct yarn weight and found the cowl.  I’d looked at it before and I liked it every time I clicked on it, so I thought, why not.  Two  minutes  later the pattern was downloaded and printed and I was off to dig through my stash hoping that I would find the yarn I wanted quickly.  Since my husband was home I thought it safe enough to go stash diving without the customary and potentially life saving bottle of water and protein bar.  While I was in fact correct about that and only had to navigate one smallish yarnalanche, it did take me longer than expected to find the yarn I wanted.
On the way to those skeins, I came across this skein.2015/02/img_2673.jpg

This arrived in the mail quite some time ago as part of a yarn club and it’s been sitting in the original envelope in the back of my stash pretty much since the moment I opened it.  It’s not that the yarn isn’t fabulous because it is.  It’s soft and squishy.  It feels great against your cheek and in your hands.  It’s the colours.  These  colours are not me in any way.  But I came across the yarn and thought, this might actually work for the cowl.

So then I sat in the middle of my newly created mess and had the yarn I actually was going to make the cowl out of in one hand and the unloved yarn in the other hand.  I stared.  I asked my husband for advice. Then I did a little math to figure out how to rework the pattern for a lighter gauge yarn, (I added 12 extra rows and am repeating the lace work one extra time on each side of the center stitch), and put the yarn onto the swift and made a cake.

And now it looks like this.2015/02/img_2675.jpg

It is actually working for the cowl.  I think I like it and if I don’t I can use it as a Christmas gift.  But when I comes right down to it, this was the only chance this skein of yarn had at being used.  These moments don’t appear often and when they do, I’ve learned it’s best to embrace them.  You can always ponder the oddity of the thing while you’re knitting it 😉
Pattern: zuzu’s petals

YOP Update February 1, 2015


This is going to be a quick little update.  Dinner is cooking in the kitchen and I have a sweater that needs pinning out.  But here it is:

This week my list got hacked a little.  I cast on a cowl that is clearly not on the list.  What can I say, I’m living dangerously.  I let my needles guide me and they went to a new cowl.  More about it later this week because it sort of deserves it’s own post for the uniqueness of the thing.


Keeping this one a little bit of a secret. There are reasons.

The big news this week is that the sweater that needs pinning is Iced.  This is it having a bath right now.  It still needs the ends woven in and the buttons added, but it is off the needles and I am thrilled.



These are the buttons I’m using.  I love them.


Hope everyone had a great week.  Looking forward to catching up with everyone.
Happy knitting!

Redacted YOP List

1. Iced – Almost finished!!
2. 64 crayonsFinished Jan 2015
3. Vincent price socks – should be much closer than they are.
4. 10 more squares for Nordic Holiday

Not WIPs:
1. Lumberjack X4 first pair finished Jan 20. Three to go.
2. Baby gift for the April baby
3. Socks X3 – patterns currently unknown